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Greg Goodwiller

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About Greg Goodwiller

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    Professional Registered Parliamentarian
  • Birthday 10/29/1960

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    Oxford, MS

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  1. Yep. 10:05 am Central Time this morning, when he first held up the 11th and declared it "retired," and then held up the 12th and declared it "in full force and effect." High drama in our little world. The only thing missing was a procession with a mace! As it happens, I actually wrote a parliamentary opinion yesterday based in the 11th Edition. And as he said those words, it occurred to me that if I hadn't managed to crank it out yesterday, I would have to have done some re-writing :).
  2. So, in answer to your direct question, no entity's policies would take precedence over another organization's bylaws. We had a similar situation in my primary organization of employment. We held a required called meeting outdoors, and the notice stated that while members had a right to attend, the sole purpose of the meeting was to consider a bylaw amendment authorizing electronic meetings, and we would ensure that a quorum would be present. we met in an open space with plenty of room around us, masked, and adopted the amendment. The organization then held a substantive meeting electronically and all was well.
  3. No. the only way for a recommendation to be acted upon by a board or assembly is for someone to move that the recommendation be adopted. Generally, that is assumed to be whoever makes the report of the committee or entity making the recommendation (the chair, or another member of the committee - see RONR pg. 513, ll. 16-17) . But if in the scenario you have outlined, there isn't anyone present who is a member of that entity, some member of Board itself would need to make the motion.
  4. I think that depends on the technology being employed. And if there is a limit (such as "fifteen seconds"), it needs to be specified in the rules for the meeting. Typically, if it is a technology that is "live" in the meeting, and there is no open voting period specified, the presiding officer, after a reasonable period, says, "have all voted who wish to do so," and then if no one seeks recognition or indicates otherwise, declares that the vote is closed.
  5. But pay close attention to my colleague's assumptions: all members are present, and all choose to vote. If only three vote in favor, but only one against, it has a two-thirds vote, but not a majority of the entire membership.
  6. The Robert's Rules standard is that a vote of the majority of those present and voting is required for a motion to be adopted. If the vote was 2 in favor and 2 against, a majority did not approve the motion, and it failed to be adopted.
  7. Just be sure you keep reading onto the next page. bylaw amendments can be amended by a simple majority vote without notice so long as the proposed amendment is not greater in scope than the original proposed amendment that was noticed to the body. And then of course, the amendment "as amended" would still require the 2/3 vote that your bylaws require for amendment.
  8. RONR provides that officers of an organization (which is what I would interpret your "appointed" board member to be) can be removed from office in a couple of ways. If the bylaws provde that the term is "for ___ years or until their successor is elected," then they can be replaced by a motion to elect a successor (it requres a 2/3 vote, or previous notice and a majority vote of the appointing/electing body). However, if the bylaws simply say that they are elected for __ years, or if they say "for ___ years and until the election of their successor," then they can only be removed by a disciplinary process (the steps for which are defined beginning on pg. 654 in RONR). I would also note, though, that in the section on executive session, RONR specifically states that "a member of a society can be punished under disciplinary procedure if he violates the secrecy of an executive session (RONR pg. 96, ll. 6-7). You you appear to have "cause" to proceed in that direction if you so choose.
  9. I'm not sure why you say that voice vote elections are "improper." RONR doesn't say that. It specifically defines them on pg. 442, l. 10 - pg. 443, l. 6. It then goes on to say that if only one person is nominated, a voice vote is not taken. But not that voice vote elections themselves are improper.
  10. Rebecca: There's a fair amount here to unpack. Robert's Rules says: Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session, only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees, and such employees or staff as the body or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall (RONR pg. 95, ll. 31-35)."Non-voting members" are still members, and unless your bylaws say otherwise, would be allowed to remain when the board is in executive session. The motion to go into executive session would require a second, and a majority vote of the board (again, unless your bylaws say otherwise - for instance, some bylaws state that all personnel matters are handled in executive session).
  11. But Robert's does support the use of "unanimous consent" as a means of moving business along when the chair perceives that there is no serious objection to a matter. As an example of how to do it, RONR says (pg. 55, ll. 34-36) "CHAIR: Is there any objection to the member's time being extended two minutes? . . . [pause]. The chair hears no objection, and it is so ordered." The difference between "unanimous consent" and a more general attempt to settle matters by "consensus decision making" is that when a chair seeks unanimous consent, if any member does object, the question is then stated for the body's consideration in the regular way, subject to the usual rules.
  12. First of all, I would suggest that "smelling of alcohol" and "under the influence" are not necessarily the same thing. But that said, standards for the conduct of board members are certainly a proper topic for consideration by the board - particularly in the form of bylaw provisions. On the other hand, one member of the board - even if an elected officer of the board - does not have the right to impose their personal standards of conduct on other members.
  13. To answer this question fully, I would need to see what your bylaws say about this "legal committee," and the bounds of its authority, as well as the authority of your board. Here is what the current edition of Robert's Rules says about contested elections: Because the voting body itself is the ultimate judge of election disputes, only that body has the authority to resolve them in the absence of a bylaw or special rule of order that specifically grants another body that authority. Thus, for example, when an election has been conducted at a membership meeting or in a convention of delegates, an executive board, even one that is given full power and authority over the society's affairs between meetings of the body that conducted the election, may not entertain a point of order challenging, or direct a recount concerning, the announced election result. While an election dispute is immediately pending before the voting body, however, it may vote to refer the dispute to a committee or board to which it delegates power to resolve the dispute (RONR pg. 446, ll. 4 - 17).
  14. Professional Registered Parliamentarian

  15. To be a bit more specific, Robert's Rules says (beginning on pg. 424, l. 4), "A vote by mail, when authorized in the bylaws, is generally reserved for important issues, such as an amendment to the bylaws or an election of officers - on which a full vote of the membership is desirable even though only a small fraction of the members normally attend meetings. . . If the vote is not to be secret, the following items should be sent to each qualified voter: 1) a printed ballot . . . 2) a specially recognizable, self-addressed return envelope . . . E-mail and other means of electronic communication can be tailored to comply with these requirements." The most important first ingredient is that such voting must be authorized in the organization's bylaws. What is also exceedingly important is that e-mail not be used as a means of debate - since it does not provide an opportunity for simultaneous, aural communication. Voting, yes. Debate prior to voting, no.
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